Skip to main content

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

See other formats


THE First Edition of this History brought the story of Western
education up, to the^nd of the Nineteenth Century.   In the next
edition (Issued in 1925) an attempt was made to indicate some of
the special trends of thought and endeavour in, the opening decade
of the present crfnt^Vy* J^ seemed to me then, as it still does, that
the educational happenings of the years before the First World
Waróthe beginnings of an exact science of education, the inven-
tion of intelligence tests, the applications of the hormic psycho-
logies in child guidance and in the understanding of childhood
and youth, the movement towards secondary education for all,
the exploration of new methods of teaching making for an orderly
freedomówere significant for the future of mankind, and assured
enough to lind a place iu u historical record*   Nothing that has
happened since then has changed my estimate of the importance
of those facts, but I have to admit a considerable change in per-
spective.   It Is no longer possible to take the optimistic view that
tile world is advancing slowly but surely towards the democratic
life by way of a better education-   The democratic principles
hitherto accepted for the schools, even more than for politics,
have been challenged everywhere, and great nations have set
themselves to shape the minds and characters of old and young
in utter despite of personal values*   liven with the democratic
nations triumphant in war democracy cannot be taken for granted*
So far as education goes, it must justify itself as a working faith
against the extraordinary achievements of the totalitarian coua**
tries m the years between the Wars.   One phase of the conflict
of ideals has ended with the defeat of Italy and Germany; another
is about to begin with the remaking of Europe,   The time has
scarcely come to attempt art objective characterization of recent
educational movements ; but whether we consider the education
of the kst quarter-century In its relation to the new education
that began with Rousseau and the French Revolution, or as setting